SAHIWAL: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $500 million loan to the Punjab government to improve infrastructure of solid waste, water supply, transport, drainage and sanitation in six cities in 10 years.

The phased, piloted project will first start in Sialkot and Sahiwal where consultants are working on feasibility reports regarding environmental change, urban development and sewerage, ADB consultant Arif Pervaiz told Dawn.

He said they were developing feasibility reports in consultation with municipality officials, chambers and civil society activists.

Newly-elected local councils will have a choice to prioritise the projects. He said allocations would be transferred to local councils in a year.

Izhar, another ADB consultant, said their focus was on the provision of clean drinking water to the public and engaging the marginalised segment of society in the urban development planning.

PACKAGE: The district government will begin distributing cheques to growers under a package from Thursday (today).

In Sahiwal district, 1,080 growers of cotton and maize with less than 12 acres will receive Rs5,000 per acre in the first phase, District Coordination Officer Asif Iqbal told reporters. He said they had marked 20,282 growers eligible for the relief package.

The government announced the package after reports that cotton, rice and maize growers could not get due price of their crops because of low rate in open market in the last two years.

The DCO said four centres had been set up in the district to distribute relief cheques to farmers. These centres are at Jinnah Hall, Harrapa Union Council office, Assistant commissioner office of Chichawatni and the Kasowal Market Committee office.

The district government has also arranged pick and drop for the growers.

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